Monday, April 28, 2014

"glitter and glue"



She strikes a chord with me, that Author, Kelly Corrigan.  I sometimes think she peeked into my life when I pick up her newest book and begin to read.  I think, "how did she know?" And, "her too?" 

In her first book, "The Middle Place," Kelly is diagnosed with breast cancer, and her Dad is also diagnosed with prostrate cancer.

 “This is exactly what being an adult is,” she wrote, “. . . untangling a pink princess boa while wondering if you are a month away from losing both breasts, both ovaries, and your 
father.”

For myself, a self-proclaimed "Daddy's girl," I could so get how hard it would be to need your Dad, while watching him battle his own disease and wanting to be there for him equally.  How do you balance that?  Who takes care of who? 









Her latest book, "Glitter and Glue," is about her and her mother.  And there it is again.  I read her words, as if they are my own.  

Prologue...

"growing up… we were never one of those Mommy and Me pairs who sat and giggled.  

She didn't wink at me or gush about how pretty I looked or rub my back to help me fall 

asleep.  She was not a fan of deep conversation, and she still doesn't go for a lot of 

physical contact.  She looked at motherhood less as a joy to be relished, than as a job to be 

done, serious work with serious repercussions…"


Corrigan sucked me in from her very first lines.  

I've often said, I could write a book about living with stage iv breast cancer and all it is teaching me.  And yet, this is merely a chapter in a broader context. The other book I could write would be about my mother and I.  

After the birth of her children and after her treatment for breast cancer,  Corrigan comes to realize that her mother is the “glue” of her family, the one who  held it together, while her father, was the "glitter." The mother-daughter tensions Corrigan must overcome feel real, and everyday. Tangible and accessible to most of us who have been at odds with our mother at times.  “What is it about a living mother,” Corrigan asks, “that makes her so hard to see, to feel, to want, to love, to like?”

She claims "It didn't happen all at once.  Maybe it was inevitable, something that develops as daily life delivers its sucker punches, streaks of clarity, and slow-dawning wisdoms.  The fact is, lately it seems the only person who can lift the anvils that sit heaviest on me is my mother."  

I read the book in one sitting.  It both pulled at my heart and made me laugh all at once.  It turns out Kelly is only one month younger than I am, and her references feel as though she plucked them right out of my childhood.  

Those "slow-dawning wisdoms,"  are still occurring to me.  And I'm grateful I still have time to uncover so much more with my own mom.

The video below is a talk that Kelly gives on "The Great Adventure of Parenthood."

It's funny, wise and deeply resonates.  I hope you'll take the time to enjoy! 













25 comments:

  1. Vicky, I had a chance to meet Kelly a few years ago when she was in town doing a talk at the Holiday Inn. I got a signed copy of what I believe was her second book, Lift. Soon thereafter, I was on a plane, and I LEFT my precious signed copy in the little seat pouch. I will always regret that inadvertent move. I also find her writing powerful, and though our situations are different, I can relate to it as well. I think our similar ages do have something to do with it. We emerged into this world at similar times so many point of references are very similar. Glad to know of this new book. It sounds great.

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    1. I wish I would have gone too! Such a bummer about the autographed book. I do think her writing is accessible to many, no matter the circumstances we each may be dealing with! Hugs friend~

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  2. Vicky... I love her, love her, love her. After being a fan of hers since The Middle Place, I finally got to meet her at a book signing. She was everything I expected and MORE!!! Warm, witty, charming, the whole enchilada.

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    1. Ahhhh- maybe I'll get that chance one of these days- I hear she is writing a novel now- she wants people to say "Really, Kelly Corrigan wrote that?"

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  3. Dear Vicky,

    I would read the books but I cant found it in german and my english isnt good enough to read a complete book in it ;-).

    Bussals
    Mimi

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    1. Ahhh Mimi- I would think there was a chance it will get printed in German someday soon! You would relate very well to it I think and like it as well :) Bussals!

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  4. i loved her first book and now i can't wait to get my hands no this one!!! thank you!!!

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    1. Beth- so welcome- I was so happy we picked it for book club, but then I didn't get to go the night we talked about it- hehe- figures :)

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  5. Oh my Vicky...I've not read any of her books but I will after your recommendation and this video...tugged at my heart. xo

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    1. Oh I think they would resonate well Robin- she just gets to the heart of the matter and has you nodding along or tears sliding down your cheek. Hugs friend!

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  6. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW!!!! i read Glitter and Glue and loved it, then went out and got The Middle Place, and loved that too. your writing is like hers: it evokes emotion and moves us. you are more than a breast cancer survivor, and your entire story would have lots of chapters about your relationships too. i'm glad you're sharing your story, moment by moment, with us here.

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    1. Oh my- that is a huge compliment to me- thank you :) Hugs to you sweet friend~

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  7. Laughter and tears Vicky! What a great reminder - "THIS IS IT!" I say don't wait until a life changing event comes along to appreciate life - cuz THIS IS IT! What a great reminder for me tonight as I read this as I'm feeling stuck in life - trying to figure out what's next. Well I better figure it out because once again THIS IS IT! And the intro about her mom - describes my mom to a T. Like Jenn above stated, I am so glad you are sharing your story - what a blessing you are to all that read your blog Vicky!

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    1. Goodness- thank you Cheri- I feel so blessed to have so many of you following along :) I certainly know what it's like to feel stuck- no fun at all. But I have confidence in you that you WILL figure it out. I always think that even making a "wrong" move or "temporary" move is better than not moving at all. Maybe you'll find that "one thing different" to do and it will set off a whole chain of new :)

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  8. Oh how I loved your youtube link...'this is it...the great adventure'. I dreamed of many children...and I got to be there for 5!!! Baby hood, and little people, were perfect for me...all the physical demands to me was a breeze...but when I saw the end closing in...the teen years...I struggled..knowing it would all be so different. In the Boutique I owned..I shared this "God gives you a teen, because we could never ever let go of that 3,5,7,12 year old...but Teens push and shove and by the time they are 18..you can let go..you do let go..and they are happy and free to leave. he did this for a purpose...so we ALL could let go! But the mother's heart..always misses those babies, those lil ones..always! I love the adults..but I miss them being little. Mothers and daughter's I get to exsperience that in spades...for I had 3 and one of my heart. They are Not to be just like me...I was just the one who got them here :) I am lucky to be very close to all! I learned long ago to just accept them for 'who they are'...at times not easy..but I pull through and do it. Its a strange thing...I always accepted my mom for who she was...but she couldn't do the same..and yet I know she loved me the best she new how! I just may have to get this book...Love love how she spoke..and writes! Made me smile and grin :)

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    1. I hope you are able to someday get this book Peggy Sue! I think parts would truly resonate with you as well- I was truly thinking about you as I wrote this the other day :) I know you have some much bigger things to enjoy for now though!! Happy moving to you!!

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  9. You just wrote a wonderful book review.....we librarians love that!!! I've never read her books, but now I will....smiles Vicky!

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    1. Lisa- I really should do it more often- I so love to read and share :) I think you will like her books too!

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  10. Tears streaming down my cheeks after seeing that video. She captured the roller coaster ride of being a parent so beautifully..and it IS the great adventure. No trip to Paris, no extended vacation in Hawaii (although that sounds pretty fabulous since we had a bit of snow here in Spokane yesterday)..could compare with all it means to be a Mommy. And the journey never stops. Once they are grown and have their own babies, you are on another amazing ride.

    My Mom was the glue and my Dad the glitter. So much about my Mom was a mystery to me and knowing who she really was became a passion of mine after my Dad's death. After all, I was 50% Dolores, even though I felt more connected to my father. I am SO glad you still have some time, Vicky, to explore more about who your Mom is.

    Thank you, thank you dear friend for sharing this book with us. Amazon.com will be ultra-busy after this fabulous book review, written by a writer as gifted as as Kelly Corrigan.

    Loves, hugs and prayers coming your way today!
    Linda

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    1. Linda- you are too kind- such a big compliment to me- thank you. I don't think reading Kelly Corrigan will disappoint anyone- it truly does lead to a sort of self-examination that can help add clarity and dimension to our lives- as well as some encouragement too!

      Love and blessings to you!!

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  11. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! You won't believe this but I read something by Kelly Corrigan recently in a women's mag. She talks about Glitter and Glue. I knew then that I wanted read it. Now I know I MUST read it. (Maybe it was in an Oprah magazine?) Thanks for the prompt, Vicky. xoxo Now...to watch the video you were so kind to provide. :)

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    1. Yes- Julie- she does write for O magazine. She has another video that went viral called "Transcending." Not only is she a great writer, but her videos really highlight how real and engaging she is in person- which shines through her writing as well. xxoo

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  12. Hi friend....I hope this finds you doing good today. I think about your every single day. xoxoxo

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  13. Hi Vicky,
    Bless your heart! I LOVE the card you sent! I wrote about it on my blog...no coincidence,
    dear friend. You will not believe the perfect timing.
    Love you to the moon and back!
    Linda

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  14. I did not know her until you brought her to me in this post. And now I must have every book. Watched the video and just cried. I consider my dear friend here who's husband desperately needs a liver transplant but isn't eligible because meds prolong his life though they never improve it and he will eventually leave us without the transplant. I think of another friend who's husband cannot keep food down and they have offered little help and no answers as he continues to lose weight - 70 lbs. now. I think of dear, precious homeschooling moms I've known - three now - who had to say goodbye to the children they held most precious and wondered who would love them like they would. I had those thoughts myself when I battled mysterious illnesses no one could address or answer (still can't) and I watched, and watch, my body change and wonder what it is no one can figure out x 15 years. And I jump for joy at the good days and the fact that I took a two-and-a-half week vacation with my family and didn't end up at a doctor or hospital - a first in years for that length. And I think of you, Vicky. Courageous beyond belief fighting the battle of your life to hear singing in the shower and fill Easter baskets to overflowing and teach dusting and window cleaning and how to take a punch and how to survive and fight and love and stay tender and stand fiercely. Thank you for sharing her with us and thank you for sharing you.

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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